Many low-income women and girls around the world are unable to afford menstrual products. In recent years, there has been growing advocacy momentum for the reduction or removal of taxes on menstrual products to improve affordability and advance overall gender equality. Targeted advocacy campaigns have already contributed to the reduction or removal of taxes on menstrual products in several countries.

Together with Global Health Visions and the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition we hosted a Period Tax Webinar on 19th November from 3-4:30 CET to provide an in-depth review of the issue. More specifically, the event presented new research on the economic impact of the reduction/removal of taxes on menstrual products and highlighted experiences and learnings from advocacy campaigns in three countries (Bangladesh, Nigeria, South Africa).

Watch the recordings below:

Key Take-Aways: 

1. If a removal or reduction of taxes on menstrual products results in reduced product prices for consumers is highly dependent on a country’s tax system and the specific market context. While removing or reducing taxes can result in increased affordability and access, it is certainly not a silver bullet that automatically delivers such outcomes. It is important to do your research first on the tax system in your country and other policy measures.

2. In many countries, tax campaigns  are about the fairness of taxation and recognizing menstrual products as items of basic necessity for ALL women (Not only low income women).

3. What came out very clearly, is that all tax campaigns have triggered much broader societal conversations about period stigma and overall gender equality. Persisting period stigma is the root cause that results in the continuing neglect of the issue, including unfair taxes on menstrual products.

 

Agenda:

  • Welcome  – by moderator Tanya Dargan Mahajan (Development Solutions, India)
  • Setting the Scene  – by Karo Omu (Sanitary Aid Initiative, Nigeria)
  • An Economic Assessment of Menstrual Hygiene Product Tax Cuts – by Dr. Laura Rossouw (University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa)
  • Launch of www.periodtax.org website – by Ina Jurga (WASH United, Germany)
  • Advocating for Affordability: The Story of Menstrual Hygiene Product Tax Advocacy in Four Countries – by Susan Fox (Global Health Visions, USA)
  • Virtual Roundtable with activists: 
    • Farhtheeba Rahat Khan  (SNV Netherlands Development Organisation, Bangladesh)
    • Karo Omu (Sanitary Aid Initiative, Nigeria)
    • Kirsten Pearson (CorruptionWatch, South Africa)
  • Question & Answers – by moderator Tanya Dargan Mahajan
  • Call to action – by Ina Jurga

Speakers, Panelists and Moderator (alphabetical order)

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